The Portland Timbers kicked off their playoff run with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders in the first leg of the Western Conference Semi-finals. The Timbers put in a hard fought defensive performance throughout the game, punctuated by two moments of attacking brilliance that involved players all over the pitch.
So, who was the top performer for the Timbers in last night's match?
Will - Futty Danso
Futty did his best Diego Chara impression last night, popping up all over the place to head balls out of danger or pick the pocket of an attacking player. The taller half of the Great Wall of Gambia was rock solid on defense, which allowed the Timbers to confidently play the counter-attacking style that the team used to open up Seattle for both goals. Darlington Nagbe's control of the offense was fantastic on the night, but it was built on the bedrock that is Futty Danso.
Michael - Darlington Nagbe
Made life difficult for Ozzie Alonso and the Seattle defenders as he floated around in front of the Sounders' goal. His brilliant goal ended up as the match winner, which is obviously his most tangible contribution, but his offensive presence was vitally important on a day where Diego Valeri was successfully marked.
Stacey - Jack Jewsbury
I always like to check out what Chalkboard has to say about my MOTM picks, and though the numbers show that Jewsbury didn't get as many touches on the ball as he normally does, there's no ignoring his impact on the game. His cross to find Ryan Johnson was excellent, and even when his involvement was less direct, he was making great runs up the field and forcing the Seattle defense to keep an eye on him. He also made some big defensive plays to help limit the Sounders chances from the run of play.
Ryan - Will Johnson
Every time Seattle got past the high pressure the Captain was there and every time a teammate failed to come back on defense he was there to cover for them and shut down Seattle's attacks. Between Diego Chara and Will Johnson the center of C-Link was annexed into Portland's city limits.
There are our picks, but what are yours? Vote in the poll below and let us know why in the comments.